PRESS RELEASE ON THE SECOND SESSION OF THE GROUP OF GOVERNMENTAL EXPERTS ON OUTER SPACE TRANSPARENCY AND CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES
8 April 2013
1. The Group of Governmental Experts on Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures in Outer Space Activities held its second session in Geneva from 1-5 April 2013.
2. Following on from the progress achieved at the first meeting of the Group on 23-27 July 2012 in New York, a draft working paper was submitted by the Chair in advance of the meeting and this formed the basis of work during the week’s sessions. Particular regard was given to the nature and substance of transparency and confidence building measures (TCBMs) contained within the draft paper. The Group agreed that the nature of TCBMs, for the purpose of this Group, was as non-legally binding, voluntary measures, even though other measures, including of a legally binding nature, have been discussed. Throughout the week, extensive refinement of the draft document was achieved, laying a solid foundation for progress.
3. The GGE took note of the Chair’s outreach efforts both through informing key space-related organisations and entities of the work of the GGE and gathering input to the GGE process. The Chair briefed the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the Conference on Disarmament, the United Nations General Assembly First Committee and the United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities. Experts also briefed regional and non-governmental fora on the work of the GGE including:
o UNIDIR workshop on “Norms of Behaviour in African Outer Space Activities”, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
o International Symposium on Sustainable Space Development and Utilisation for Humankind, Tokyo, Japan
o ASEAN Regional Forum Space Security Workshop, Hoi An, Viet Nam
o International Astronautical Congress, Naples, Italy.
The Chair also met with representatives of the World Meteorological Organization, the Group on Earth Observations and the International Telecommunications Union.
4. During its second session, the GGE reviewed submissions from a number of UN Member States, IGOs and NGOs. Their proposals contributed to the thinking of the GGE experts on TCBMs for outer space activities. The Group welcomes further submissions from all UN Member States, IGOs and NGOs. Any proposals should be made as written submissions to the Chair and the Secretary of the Group by 29 April 2013.
5. During its deliberations, the Group attended sections of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research’s 12th annual space security conference held from 2-3 April 2013 in the Palais des Nations. (See www.unidir.org). Experts were able to participate in and listen to panel presentations from a broad spectrum of States, non-governmental actors and industry players and to contribute to the floor discussions. Attendance at the conference furthered the Group’s aim to take into consideration diverse opinions from a broad range of stakeholders.
6. The third and final session of the Group will be held from 8-12 July 2013 in New York. Pursuant to resolution A/RES/65/68, the study of the GGE will be submitted to the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly (2013).
For use of the information media; not an official record